Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Schedule Weekend Jan 24th

Two big transfers (still 10 days left)  and the Bundesliga returns!  Sadly, the moves mean a lot on GolTV which has poor coverage (and has a whole 1.5 seasons left on its deal).

DayTime (ET)PlayerClubOpponentTV
Saturday9:30 AMHong Jeong HoAugsburg@DortmundNone
Saturday9:30 AMJi Dong WonAugsburg@DortmundNone
Saturday9:30 AMSon Heung MinBayer Leverkusen@SC FreiburgGolTV
Saturday9:30 AMKoo Ja CheolMainz@StuttgartNone
Saturday9:30 AMPark Joo HoMainz@StuttgartNone
Saturday10:00 AMLee Chung YongBoltonCardiff City (Cup)Fox Sports 2
Saturday10:00 AMKim Bo KyungCardiff City@Bolton (Cup)Fox Sports 2
Saturday10:00 AMKi Sung YuengSunderlandKidderminster (Cup)Fox Sports 1
Saturday2:45 PMPark Ji SungPSV EindhovenAZ AlkmaarGolTV

Ji Dong Won had the most complex story where Dortmund dropped out of the bidding for Ji, leaving Augsburg the only bidder (who can't afford anything).  Sunderland, eager to get Ji off the books, took a minimal fee.

Of course it turns out that Ji/Dortmund/Augsburg were actually all working together, which meant that Ji was now free to: sign with Augsburg for 6 months (making it duration-wise like a loan) and then most importantly, pre-sign a longer contract with Dortmund that will start post WC.

This is really the ideal setup, where Ji gets 6 months to re-acclimate to Germany, get valuable match minutes ahead of the World Cup, and gets to learn with Klopp and BVB next season.  He'll most likely start off as depth (pending other transactions and Ji's own performances) but with heavy schedule, Dortmund will have many minutes to distribute.

That said, Ji has an "injury" so his availability for the weekend is unknown (though the timing seems amazing given their opponent this weekend).  HJH will most likely start on the bench.

Son had ok winter friendlies and should start.  As for Ryu Seung Woo, he starred in the pre-season, scoring the winning goal in the winter cup.  With the performance, Leverkusen is no longer looking at 2.Bundesliga loans anymore.  Does that mean that Ryu will be a bench player or be loaned out to higher level?  It's unclear so I haven't added him in yet.  He may make the bench or even start depending on the health of Sam (primary RF).

Koo Ja Cheol completed a move to Mainz where Tuchel has been looking to get Koo for several years now.  He wanted the move so that he could get into his preferred role, with more assured starts.  He may start immediately though its not certain.  Park Joo Ho should start.

Since its cup time, I have no idea who will start with Sunderland and Cardiff mixed up in relegation fights and Bolton nearing one of their own (*sigh*) vs distraction of cup.  If I had to put probabilities on it, I'd assume KBK is the most likely to start (80%), then Ki (50%), then LCY (30%).

Recap wise, KBK didn't play last week.  LCY was involved in a huge defeat where it seems most everyone played poorly.  And as I mentioned in the midweek update, Ki played poorly for good portion of the match but was able to contribute when the situation arose.

Park Ji Sung should start.  Did not get to watch the loss vs Ajax.